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BBC Homepage: Localisation & Accessibility Updates

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James Thornett James Thornett | 11:00 UK time, Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The BBC Homepage was relaunched on 30th November last year and as we approach the end of January we have now completed our first two updates for 2012.

You might have noticed that regional television and local radio stations are now available from the drop down menus in the What's On area of the page. To ensure you received the relevant TV and Radio stations for your area, click on the location name at the top of the page, next to the clock, select your postcode or town name, and then click 'Confirm'.

I'm pleased to tell you that my team have also fixed a number of bugs and made further improvements to the accessibility of the page which will make it easier to read if you are accessing via a screenreader.

We still have plenty of new features to add and improvements to make and we hope to continue releasing new updates every few weeks.

Work is also underway on a new mobile site so there will be more information on that soon.

James Thornett is the Head of Homepage Product, BBC Future Media

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "Work is also underway on a new mobile site so there will be more information on that soon"

    That's the worst news I've heard in ages.

    As far as I'm concerned your team was responsible for ruining the desktop homepage experience for me and many others, so I don't hold any hope of the mobile site going in a different direction.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Any chance of making the carousel move using the keyboard arrow keys as the new 2012 site does? This would presumably help improve the accessibility further.

    Also slightly off-topic is there any chance of getting the my news & weather location panel on the BBC News site updated. It would be nice if it could retrieves the location set on the BBC home page, as well as pointing to the new weather site.

  • Comment number 4.

    The TV panel despite displaying 'BBC One (Cambridgeshire)' appears to still insist on loading the London content by default. When the channel is selected from the menu or set in location it does initially display the correct content, however reloading the page reverts it to the London content. I've tried clearing my cookies and so far it's still occurring (Firefox 9, Win 7).

  • Comment number 5.

    No, I've not noticed. I don't use your Homepage since it was vandalised.

  • Comment number 6.

    Well James, I've just had a look at the new improvements, having not used my old Homepage for nearly two months. It still doesn't work on Firefox (copy is cut off), it's still not customizable as was the old one and it still offers little more than essentially meaningless pictures that jerk to the left or right a bit if I care to make them do so. So it's a no-go area for me, I fear. The best improvement, speaking personally, would be a return to the old BBC Homepage which greeted me, daily, for many years. I know this message will be ignored and dismissed immediately.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    I see no improvements the new home page is still awful

  • Comment number 9.

    An improvement is when you satisfy your current viewers and attract new ones - in this you have failed. If you had listened to the feedback to the Beta version then you would not be in this mess. Reading your personal blog I can see why you're not connecting with the older viewer.

  • Comment number 10.

    I agree with the majority view, the new page is not as good as the old one, after months trying to get used to the changes I now simply do not use it anymore.

  • Comment number 11.

    @4: Looks like the problem has been (silently) fixed.

  • Comment number 12.

    Still looks awful and unusable to me

  • Comment number 13.

    The location still keeps saying London for me...
    I don't think they'll change it back sadly.

    I use Google News instead as my main news page. It presents a variety of perspectives on the news, and it is fully localised, with entire sections devoted to my home town, county, or anything you want.

    The flip side is the lack of navigation once you leave the front page. But still better than the new BBC overall.

  • Comment number 14.

    After the release I moved to the news site, so I haven't noticed any improvements. However I've been to look and the new homepage is worse than I remembered. No amount of tinkering will make a blind bit of difference until we can opt out of the tragic roundabout and we get a bit of colour - even a shade of grey will do!

  • Comment number 15.

    Thank you for the comments.

    In response to a number of questions that have been asked.

    @Keith (#3 and #4)
    Yes, we are working on keyboard shortcuts for the carousel at the moment so this will be added soon. Thank you for spotting the error with the TV region. It is really helpful when users let us know about issues such as this and our team continually work on fixes to try and keep the page error-free.

    We will be talking to our colleagues in News to join up your location setting so that your preference will remain when you move from the Homepage to News or Weather.

    @Hadden Uff (#13)
    Have you tried to change the location by clicking on 'London' at the top, next to the clock, and selecting your preferred town, city or postcode?

    This does rely on cookies to store your location preference so make sure you are using a computer with cookies enabled so that your preferred location will appear when you return to the page at a later date.

    thanks,
    James

  • Comment number 16.

    It's a real shame you haven't seen fit to listen to those who pay your substantial salary and do something about the disastrous redesign. A case study of how NOT to do it!

  • Comment number 17.

    "In response to a number of questions that have been asked"

    James, you have written in response to just two writers and have, predictably, ignored the most basic concerns voiced by rather more others. If the complaints of all those who wrote the last time the dreadful new Homepage was 'blogged' were addressed, we might feel less antagonistic towards you and your department.

  • Comment number 18.

    BBC London is still the default local news though, showing once again the BBC London bias. If no default has been selected you should randomly pick a region for each page display.
    You should also employ someone who knows about ergonomics rather than what is the latest design craze amongst graphics designers so the site is more usable.

  • Comment number 19.

    Welcome back James. My homepage is now your blogs waiting to see if anything will change on the homepage. Regrettably not. You still have not answered any of the salient points from the last 4 blogs. You clearly launched the site before it was ready, shown by the fact that you have released 2 updates within a month, and are still fixing things which were mentioned before release, and were even dismissed (such as the accessibility issues). When are we going to get some real answers on this waste of Licence Payer's money. When will we see the statistics? Has it achieved what you wanted (which was clearly not what your users wanted).

    Can we have MyBBC PLEASE???

  • Comment number 20.

    I have been following these blogs for some time now as agree with the majority of the comments, in that I hate the new homepage and this has made me reluctant to use it, after it being my first port of entry for probably about 10 years.

    My main issue is that there is no feedback from the BBC in response or acnowlegement to the almost universal areas of the complaints raised.

    Are you going do anything or not?

    If not I am sure you will loose a vast percentage of your audience if you havn't alteady.

  • Comment number 21.

    @18: The reason it's the default location could just be because London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, as opposed it being because of "the BBC London bias".

  • Comment number 22.

    If you ask the millions of people who dont live in England 'what is your capital?' they will NOT say London. Capital of UK may be factually correct but it is England-centric bias like BBC. This is bad design. My phone and google haven't assumed I lived in London for a long time and know where I am. BBC, with £100 million to spend on a website must do better. BRING BACK THE OLD SITE.

  • Comment number 23.

    Just saw this renewed blog, so thought Id have a look, but I have not noticed any changes since the launch on my firefox/chrome browser. I see the change the location (which I thought was there from day one) but I cant see the link to change the tv region, but saying that my tv region seems to be right below.
    It still has the Carosel, which is what I do not like at all, it just does not work for me.
    I just find the front page a jumbled mess and not easy to navigate or see content quickly. Its all about design and not usability for me.
    I do not really use the TV bits below, as I use iplayer and other sites and apps for any TV content, but I understand why its there.
    Every day I come to this site, as the BBC news and sports content is always what I want and up to date, but its just a wrong step for me to view and take in now than the previous page.
    Had a look as someone told me the 2012 BBC site has changed and yuk, another carosel and it looks very very jumbled. Not really into the olympics, so ill thankfully pass on the one.
    See BBC sports is changing in Feb, hope it does not end up with a carosel too.

    It would be good to have the localised function transfrerred to News and Sport.

    I have an ipad and it only shows the top half of the page, and right and left navigation on there is a pain, it needs a few touches to do it. ipad swipe, that is how it works! Hint!

  • Comment number 24.

    @keith Being the capital doesn't confer any rights as far as being the default anywhere.

  • Comment number 25.

    I haven't noticed any 'updates' to the redesigned BBC homepage, weather page or radio/programme pages as I no longer use them (I get the Scottish video weather forecast from the Tayside and Central news page now, negating the need to go anywhere near the new and 'unimproved' weather page or homepage) due to the poor design. However, I do check in to this blog now and again to see if there are any updates as to wheter the pages have been improved from their chaotic, messy design. I may go and check the pages now though...

  • Comment number 26.

    Just checked the homepage and weather page but seems to be no change. I shall check again the next time this blog has an update.

  • Comment number 27.

    thankgod that the bbc wales site is still there, otherwise its just gonna be BBC london's England rugby news for the 6 natinos...

  • Comment number 28.

    Dave F - comment #20:

    "My main issue is that there is no feedback from the BBC in response or acnowlegement to the almost universal areas of the complaints raised."

    if you read James' post from December of last year he does give feedback on points raised by commenters in particular on the design and customisation.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 29.

    Nick, it is exactly this sort of answer which has caused all the problems. James has never answered any complaints, except the few which give specific problems with technical issues about the new site (as in his post above, where he only answered a couple of the comments). He has never addressed the fundamental issues of WHY the page was changed in the first place, when the majority of posters agree that there was nothing wrong with the page in the first place. We have never seen the results of the on-line questionnaire, and no data has ever been published about the comments on the Beta phase. If the blog is any guide, they would have been overwhelmingly negative, and yet the launch went ahead anyway.

    Just to say it was changed because it was going to be changed is not sufficient.

    Even now, we still see no statistics on whether the avowed target for change has been achieved.

    I know NO-ONE who likes the new home page. Not one. Most people I know who used to use it now use something else or nothing at all. Personally I have James' latest blog as my homepage so I can see if anyone is ever going to respond to the specific issues, or whether anyone will admit they were wrong with this new page and revert to the previous version, which was universally agreed to be the best website homepage available.

    I believe your market research which prompted the change was flawed. No-one ever asked my opinion even though I used the homepage several times a day, so where did you get the information that people found it boring? Did you do any research on how many regular users used the customisation, which you claim was not used? I suspect not.

    In the end, the old page was useful, interesting, informative, entertaining and easy to use. The new page is none of these things. In fact, it is useless & soulless.

    Please re-read those blog posts, from the beginning, then tell us honestly that anyone has acknowledged the issues raised. If you can do that, then I'm afraid there is really no hope and I will go somewhere else for my homepage, but with sadness at the loss of integrity at my beloved BBC.

  • Comment number 30.

    I've been following these blog posts with a lot of interest, and the comments with some level of despair, over the past few months. The new homepage is lovely! It's much brighter than the old one and more inviting - and showcases much more stuff in a much friendlier fashion. I now love being able to drop by and get a quick glance of some interesting new stuff that I might not have found otherwise. It (now) makes sensible use of my location, too - local weather at the top, local news in the carousel, local TV listings underneath.

    The old page was a real clutter and the "customisation" features just made it clunkier and far more complicated than it needed to be. This does exactly what a home page should - points me to interesting stuff. I think it's great.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh alright then, one person :)

  • Comment number 32.

    @iamdave - May I ask why you registered only yesterday and have posted on the bbc blogs just once?

    If as you say you've been following the debate for a number of months this strikes me as a little odd.

    Surely you would've felt the need to voice your support for the new Homepage amongst such a title wave of negative feedback prior to yesterday?

  • Comment number 33.

    I too have expressed a number of times that I like the new homepage in the old blogs - so there is at least two of us. I'm also looking forward to future enhancements. Why is there always disbelief from some bloggers that anyone actually likes the new page? I would suggest, that in generalm, people don't add comments to the blog saying they like the new page because they see no need to. I originally registered and added comments because I was fed up reading negative postings that I felt were not true - I had been following the blogs a long time before my first post. Perhaps, JoeAD, iamdave did the same? He doesn't need to justify or validate his post any more than your negative ones....

  • Comment number 34.

    @JoeAD

    Your question is a mean-spirted attack on another commenter, against house rules, and off-topic. I would usually remove it, but someone responded.

    Let's keep this friendly and on-topic. About the home page, not about each other.

  • Comment number 35.

    @JoeAD (32): Of course you may! I've been following the debate and getting more and more depressed by the responses that have been posted time and again. I was spurred into action yesterday by the comment further up the page that "I know NO-ONE who likes the new home page. Not one". Given that, from reading the comments on this post, it came across that this was the view of the entire population, I felt it important to try to provide some (limited) balance. In other words, DBOne (33) is spot on: I followed precisely the same logic as him!

    Anyway, on topic: I am glad to note that the constructive side of feedback - improving localisation, adding keyboard shortcuts etc - are being taken on board. It's great to see that the team are willing to work to further improve what's already, in my view, a big step forward from what was there before. Slight shame that a couple more of the niggles (particularly with local TV listings - I'm in Scotland and was getting driven batty by the insistence that I watch BBC London!) weren't dealt with pre-launch - but hey, we're there now!

  • Comment number 36.

    Hi James,

    Welcome back and I hope you had a nice break over the holidays?

    I have not visited the homepage for several weeks mainly because the new design was so disappointing and left me feeling unloved by the Beeb. But, as you have mentioned "improvements" I jumped straight back online to take a look.

    You are such a tease James! All that promise and nothing......still, at least I haven't had to waste any time resetting my homepage - keeping at yahoo.

    I will keep popping back hoping for improvements that deliver something to the user and not to your CV.

    Until then I leave you as a spurned lover would - hurt and only wishing you could listen.

    MMouse

  • Comment number 37.

    Why people liked the old website;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1axEv7GEUUI

    One of the many reasons why people don't like the new website;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFgFo13aJM4

    It is very annoying when things just 'pop-up' at you! and then disappear if you dare move your mouse.

    I have also translated my complaint into 'txt' talk, as James is so down with the younger generation, it might help me get my ciews across to him.

    "Hi James, I dnt lk d nu homepage n plz cn u chng it 2 d old 1. Ive typD dis n txt tlk as dat sEmz 2B d 1ly lingo ur wilN 2 lisN 2. tnx MMouse"

  • Comment number 38.

    #37 @marcus1972 - your video highlights a design decision - one that I like.

    If you want to just click the 'headline' link then you can click on the associated photo - it takes you to the same place. The popup highlights additional information - like the 'More Info' type buttons present on so many websites but unlike them it doesn't need an additional mouse click to open it.

    By the way, the title of James' post tells you pretty much what has changed - not much of a tease really...

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks to marcus1972 for the YouTube links.

    For years the "boring" old BBC Homepage could be edited down to the few dull items I wanted to see at a glance when going online - boring news, local and otherwise, the dreary weather and uninspiringly easy links to what predictable programmes were on Radio and TV, most of this consumed in a few tedious moments by reading a few yawn-inducing sentences before going on to other things.

    Like the two other posters here, I can now say I LOVE the new all-singing, all-dancing carousels of pictures and things popping up all over the place, as I don't look at the thing anymore and no longer feel the need to suffer those moments of boredom with the BBC's website.

    Life is plagued with enough distractions as it is.

  • Comment number 40.

    Not sure if anyone has pointed this out before, but using Safari on a Mac to view the new BBC Homepage, the bottom inch or so of the top section gets cut off.

    This means it is not possible to see the last two lines of text in the two columns of news headlines on the right of the page. Also the captions under all the lower images in the top section of the page disappear beneath the blue line above "BBC online today". Similarly, the captions for the four pictures under "What's On TV and Radio" also disappear.

    There seems to be no way of scrolling these sections.

    This makes the BBC homepage pretty useless when viewed in Safari, Mac's preferred browser, so you must be losing a lot of regular users.

    I would be interested to know if you are aware of this problem and what is being done to fix it. I've emailed Homepage Beta Feedback twice about this, but just get a standard automated reply.

  • Comment number 41.

    Please can you update the masthead to make it Black like the BBC sport page, however please refrain from replicating the white hover over effect.

  • Comment number 42.

    iand10, The same happens with my (up-to-date) Firefox browser - another reason why I don't bother with the site anymore. "They" have never responded to queries about it, other than the usual robotic rubbish.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't use the BBC as homepage now as it doesn't seem to have the same customisation facility. Will this improve? There is a lot of stuff on the new page that I really don't want to see ... :o(

  • Comment number 44.

    #40,#42 it may be that your browser font settings are set to large - the homepage doesnt seem to like very large font sizes - guess the designers use some absolute sizings....

  • Comment number 45.

    I have returned to have a look for the first time since the disastrous change and find that it is still awful. I thought this may be me (and the several thousand who complained and were ignored previously), but I see that others are now joining the fray.

    Can we go back to a single, customisable page that enables us to make use of the facilities of BBC online, without the need for scrolling horizontally and being overwhelmed by useless information about which I have no interest?

    Thank you Marcus at 37 for the youtube links. I just wish the people who control the BBC website would remember this.

    As we were completely ignored last time, will you be taking notice of what we say this time?

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    DBOne - thanks for your suggestion. Yes, if I reduce the font size, I can see the whole page, but the type size is now very small - much smaller than on comparable websites. These also don't cut off parts of the screen if you reduce or enlarge the font size. This doesn't say much for the BBC's commitment to accessibility. Also, if the answer to my query is that simple, why couldn't the BBC tell me?

  • Comment number 48.

    Just did a search to see if there had been any further developments. Clearly the new BBC Homepage is here to stay.

    I joined the discussion here last year for a bit and then came to the conclusion that the BBC Homepage was no longer suitable for being my browser homepage. That remains the case. I am disappointed because it had been my home page since the early days of the Internet.

    This may sound defeatist, but I genuinely don't think that continuing to complain about it will make the slightest bit of difference, because the BBC has invested in it and has made it clear that they are not interested in the negative feedback (other than minor suggestions for change about the NEW design). So, I am not going to restate my own disappointment about it all, but continue to use BBC News as my homepage. I also think that it it almost certain that the new redesign will be rolled out to the News page too and, at that point, I will move again.

    Having said all that, I would love to know what the usage stats are for the new homepage versus the old one (both overall number of visits and whether the number of accesses to other page from homepage have increased). Can someone show these?

    The only answer for those of us who do not like the new BBC site is to walk away, just as we would if it was a 'product' from a commercial company.

  • Comment number 49.

    HughL60, I suspect you are right. It is such a shame though. I am not against change, but it has to be positive and I still feel this change is a retrograde step. The links from marcus1972 just about say it all. The old site was used as a demonstration on how good design should be. I don't see that ever happening with the new version.

    I too would love to see those statistics. I would also like to have heard the debate being mentioned elsewhere on the BBC. It was considered news by the print media, but as far as I am aware was never mentioned on the BBC news at all, or if it was I missed it on the TV or Radio 4. Let us hope that those responsible for the change are being made to prove that what they have done has achieved the aims, and that they can convince their bosses that it was worth losing so many dedicated and loyal supporters.

    The BBC cannot advertise, so their best bet is publicity by word of mouth. I'm afraid my conversations with people nowadays is to recommend anything rather than the BBC home page. A case perhaps where "any publicity is good publicity" fails.

    I can only repeat the request to bring back the functionality we had before, to be able to filter out the bits in which we are not interested, and to reinstate those which were so entertaining and informative (QI, Science, etc) which appear to have disappeared forever. The idea of MyBBC has been mooted for some time, and seemed to gain some credence with James at one point, but now seems to have disappeared again.

    This will be my last post, as I am finally giving up the fight and going elsewhere. I may pop back from time to time to see if anything has changed, but I am not hopeful.

  • Comment number 50.

    What needs to be said....the new homepage is not liked and after 2 weeks you only have 50 comments about the new features with most of them being negative.

    Goodbye.

  • Comment number 51.

    I also had not noticed any updates to the homepage mainly because this is no longer my point of entry. Like many others I now seek my news, weather and sports news elsewhere since all these web pages have been ruined by needless revamps. James has a long way to go before he satisfies most of the thousands of licence fee payers who complained officially or commented through these blogs. My main concern is the total silence from the BBC Senior Management who should at the very least take some notice of those who contribute to their salaries and expenses.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Waste of time and money, the only BBC pages I look at now are these blogs in the hope that you lot will take your heads out the sand!

    Utter rubbish, if this was a commercial site you would all have been fired by now!

  • Comment number 54.

    Looks like the new BBC Home Page has been nominated for a Design Award. http://www.designsoftheyear.com/category/genre/digital/digital-2012/

    The world has gone mad.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi James
    I just googled 'BBC homepage' to see if there are any updates/improvements and found your latest blog.
    I used the BBC as my home page for years but have stopped since November 2011 and have created my own in google which is adequate but not as good as the BBC used to be. Most of the people I talk to and most on this blog seem to have changed their home page away from the BBC.
    Could you tell me if you are getting more or fewer hits to your home page since it was updated last year?
    I am just interested to know if I am in the minority?

  • Comment number 56.

    Presumably it has been nominated as a classic example of how NOT to design a website; as an educative tool for web designers perhaps.

  • Comment number 57.

    "I'm pleased to tell you that my team have also fixed a number of bugs and made further improvements to the accessibility of the page which will make it easier to read if you are accessing via a screenreader."
    James, would you care to have a word about this with your colleagues on the BBC Sports site? I think you have a lot you can teach them. Take your sunglasses.

  • Comment number 58.

    A few years ago "Nouvelle cuisine" was all the rage. You may remember that it involved a shortage of food, arranged, oh so artistically on a huge gleaming white plate. I mention this because when I first saw the BBC online homepage beta it instantly put me in mind of a white platefull of nothing. Recent updates and improvements have done nothing to make it any more palatable. The site still lacks relevant content, still force feeds unwanted content, and the plate still slides sideways if I am not careful. It also appears that the trend is spreading, much as novel cuisine did for a while.

  • Comment number 59.

    In general, I agree with the negative comments regarding lack of customisation. Bring this feature back as soon as possible as you must admit it appears to have been a huge mistake to remove it in the first place. I like the sound of a fully customisable carousel (as long as it is fully customisable and I don't have to have a minimum proportion of video links or other stuff that I don't want).

    Now to a more immediate and solvable issue. When the page was launched in beta, and even after its main launch, the "filter" settings were remembered from one browsing session to the next. This now seems to have been broken and although I want to open up the page on "news & sport" until you bring back some proper customisation, the page is defaulting to "BBC Online Today". This makes the already frustrating page even more so. Please can you look into this and fix.

    Thanks,
    I

  • Comment number 60.

    James, any update about when the carousel will be fixed? It jumps left and right constantly. Along with the constant flashes of white this makes for a puke-inducing experience. That and the complete lack of content has made me no longer use the site. In the pile of comments to other posts you did not respond to people's questions about the constant twitch of the homepage. Will this ever be fixed? It must be a bug in the home page because the carousels on the other BBC sites do not twitch, e.g. sport and TV. So why does the Homepage twitch? I prefer the smaller carousels of the other sites which are usable.

  • Comment number 61.

    Can some one tell me where I click to get to this blog, and others from the homepage, for me that sums up all what is wrong with the new hompage, seems to be less information on it, and is very confusing to find the info you actuallly want. (I googled bbc Hompage complaints to get here in the end, was curious to see if where still being listened too). There seems a lot less comments this time around, wonder if that is because every one is happy now?

  • Comment number 62.

    I have just discovered these blogs and agree with the majority of the comments, in that I hate the new homepage and this has made me reluctant to use it, after it being my first port of entry each morning when i get to work.

    My main issue is that there is no feedback from the BBC in response or acnowlegement to the almost universal areas of the complaints raised.

    Are you going do anything or not?

    I have read your comments in december with regard to the new web site and the reason you do not wish to change the web site back but i fail to see that a web site that was working very well should of been changed ???
    You say that most users were only looking at news & sport and not other parts of the web site, well did you stop and consider that is what most users want to actually look at !!!!
    Why why why why have you not addressed the many thousand of complaints you have had and put the web site back to how it was ! a enjoy experanice were as now it is very painful to use.

    I have seen the new web site on an Iphone and have to admite it works well on there but the varst majortiy of us look at the web site from a laptop or desktop and i have to tell you it is now not a site i enjoy using at all !
    Please could you respond to your customer complaints

    Kind rergards,

  • Comment number 63.

    At 16:13 28th Feb 2012, Neil M wrote:


    Please could you respond to your customer complaints


    the worst part of all, we are not the cutomers, as licensee payers , we are the owners...and still they ignore us.

    Just checked in to see the england score.... 4 clicks to get to live updates

  • Comment number 64.

    edit.

    Just noticed there is a link to the england match on the "homepage", but i was looking under the sport heading.....should have known it wouldn't be there

  • Comment number 65.

    Please note: no comments since 29 February does not mean that people like the new homepage nor that they have got used to it. Those in charge of this change should not interpret this a an endorsement of the new design. Rather, it may mean simply that the new homepage has become irrelevant as people, like me, have found it such a mess that we no longer visit it or use it as our personal web portal. For a more robust and on-going debate on the merits of the BBCs new design,see the Sport Editor's blog, although this page too may recede into irrelevance as users continue to leave what is arguably one of the most irritating and unfriendly web pages going (second only to the BBC homepage shambles). Still, it is a shame that the necessary changes have not really been for the better.

  • Comment number 66.

    Good new features, but I did notice a few compatibility problems with Opera, at least within the first few days (I believe these are fixed now). I'm interested to see that there are a fair few users who didn't think the changes were positive, I wonder if the webmasters have taken onboard the feedback?

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 67.

    Interesting that iGoogle (the one I been using since the BBC changed its homepage) has a new look coming soon. Looks very good, looks very familiar. Maybe the BBC should have a look and get some ideas.

  • Comment number 68.

    As Bede1952 said, a lack of comments should not be taken to mean that people are happy with the homepage. I nolonger visit the BBC homepage whereas I used to visit it several times a day, and similarly therefore I never click through to other BBC pages, nowadays the only time I go to a BBC page is if something interesting is linked in to my iGoogle page (which I set up following the creation of the Hollyoaks Homepage), but Reuters news now gets as many visits from me as BBC news does - very sad :-( . Caveat: I did just visit the homepage to see if anything has changed and I see that it's still awful :-)

    No matter how much you tweak the homepage, the old addage "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" stands up well as you have made a right pig's ear out of what was once an outstanding site.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    I've just looked at BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 homepages and apart from the logo they are all the same.

    The BBC have gone the 'me-too' design.

    Such a shame.

  • Comment number 71.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm glad James and the team are making improvements to the woeful BBC home page. Unfortunately I won't 'benefit' from them as I've stopped using it since the launch.

    I thought I'd return to the blog section to give people an update on the FOI request I made in January regarding the BETA test results.

    At the time I was given the standard response; the information I requested is exempt from the FOI Act because it is held for the purposed of 'the arts, media and journalism' and to release the information would infringe the BBC's right to freedom of expression.

    I took the case to the Information Commissioner's Office who have taken a while to go through the correct procedures. In fact, they delayed their response because they were waiting for the results of a Supreme Court ruling relating to the FOIA and the case of The BBC vs. Mr. Sugar.

    I won't go into the details of that case, but ultimately it means that the BBC can withhold 99.9% of the information they keep because it can all be classified as being used for the purposes of 'the arts, media and journalism' and so can be exempt from FOI requests.

    The ICO said that because the BBC won the Supreme Court ruling, there was little hope of winning a legal battle with regard to the BETA test results, and while my representative agreed with us in principle, he said there was no point pursuing it.

    As such, I expect we will never see the results of that survey, or any other survey the BBC hosts for that matter. They now have carte blanche to do and say what ever they like with little-or-no accountability.

    As such, I suggest everyone gives up complaining about the terrible BBC website — we won't make a difference so why waste our breath?

    Equally, I would advise everyone not to bother completing any BBC surveys or providing any feedback for anything, as it will be ignored and they will do what they want regardless.

    Good luck to those who plan to continue the fight but I've lost all faith in the BBC and won't be wasting my time any longer.

 

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